Microsoft is committing to using the same open plug-in standard that OpenAI uses for ChatGPT, enabling interoperability between plug-ins for Bing Chat, Microsoft’s Copilot platform, and ChatGPT.
It’s a welcome step forward for the future of AI chatbots, meaning plug-ins won’t be restricted to one particular platform and developers and users can build them across both consumer- and business-focused experiences. But until Google signs up to the same open plug-in standard for Bard, it’s limited to two companies that have a close partnership. Microsoft extended its OpenAI partnership in a “multibillion dollar investment” earlier this year, just weeks before the company announced its GPT-4-powered Bing Chat.
As part of Microsoft’s annual Build developer announcements, the software giant is also committing to keep Azure OpenAI’s apps interoperable with the same plug-ins standard that OpenAI uses. That will also allow users who create AI apps using Microsoft’s service to then bring them to OpenAI’s platform or any other that also adopts the same open plug-in standard.
Microsoft is already using plug-ins in Bing with OpenTable and WolframAlpha, and it’s now expanding to support plug-ins from Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, and Zillow. Plug-ins are essential for AI chatbots like Bing Chat and ChatGPT to expand their abilities and tap into new sources of information from the web and third-party providers. OpenAI first started supporting plug-ins with ChatGPT in March, and Microsoft’s fresh commitment to support the same open standard could pave the way for a lot more third-party functionality inside Bing Chat and Microsoft’s Copilot platform.
Bandsintown, Bohita, Cloudflare, Coupert, Fareportal, FiscalNote, Golden, Lexi Shopper, Likewise, Notable, One Word Domains, PromptPerfect, Shopify, Skyscanner, Spotify, Spotnana, and Trip.com are also enabling plug-ins for Bing Chat soon.
Plug-in interoperability is just a small part of Microsoft’s AI announcements at Build this week. Microsoft is also announcing a Windows Copilot for Windows 11, AI improvements to the Microsoft Store, plug-ins for Microsoft 365 Copilot, and some dev-focused AI features.